When you squint your eyes and look only at the broad historical trends at play in this presidential election, all signs point to a victory for Mitt Romney in November.
Back in February, the Signal's first draft of its elections model, which relied only on historical data, predicted that Obama would win the election with 303 electoral votes. This model relies heavily on economic indicators and was published before the dismal second quarter economic figures. If you apply that same model through June, Romney wins with 290 electoral votes to Obama's 248.
The upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed PS: Political Science & Politics includes two models from other researchers that reach the same conclusion. One study by a pair of University of Colorado political scientists, announced yesterday, predicts that Romney will walk away with 320 electoral votes on the back of high unemployment. A second study, by Douglas Hibbs, concludes Obama's weakness includes the death toll in Afghanistan.
I have serious reservations about both papers; for example, our methodology is very conclusive that recent movement in economic indicators correlate with election outcomes, not the overall levels. But I will not subject the readers to the brutal crossfire of warring presidential forecasters. The point is that all of these fundamental models point in the same direction: Romney. And as of today, they are all wrong. That is, all these models look at only half the picture and are not useful today as standalone forecasts.
Those of us in the business of predicting elections rely on two broad sets of data: what has happened in the past, and what polls and markets suggest will happen in the future.Read More »from All signs point to a Romney victory except one (a very big one)